"HARMOLODIC MONK" – MATT LAVELLE, JOHN PIETARO. UNSEEN RAIN RECORDS UR9953, May 2014
Jack DeSalvo, producer, writes:
In the work of both Ornette Coleman and Thelonious Monk, the dichotomy of ancient, pre-western approaches and extreme modernism live side-by-side so comfortably that one mistakes one for the other. Like the story that Ornette told of performing in a psychiatric hospital; once he started playing and looked out into the audience he couldn’t distinguish between the doctors and the patients.
Bëla Bartók believed that new music must have deep roots in folk music, music of the earth, chthonic in that sense. Besides virtuosity as servant to meaningful expression, communication and sensitive interplay, what Matt Lavelle and John Pietaro reveal to us through this many-layered concept of uncovering new secrets in Monk’s compositions via the Harmolodic highway is their profound understanding that the root of all this is the Blues.
Ornette’s view of the Blues, like his late friend Buckminster Fuller’s view of the world, is multi-dimensional, here imbued with both Monk’s and Ornette’s focus on personal expression. Matt and John provide an extended view into myriad musical possibilities when Harmolodic Monk is in the hands of two improvisational masters.
3. Green Chimneys/52nd St. Theme
4. Round Midnight
5. Crepescule With Nellie -Lavelle solo
7. Ruby My Dear -Pietaro solo
8. Let's Cool One
9. Blue Monk / Straight No Chaser
10. Monks Mood
11. In Walked Bud
12. Light Blue
Matt Lavelle (cornet, flugelhorn, alto clarinet)
John Pietaro (vibraphone, bodhrán, conga, bongos, percussion)
Recorded, edited, mixed and mastered by Jim DeSalvo at Beanstudio, Wayne, NJ in January, 2014
Executive producers: Gene Gaudette, Jim DeSalvo, Jack DeSalvo
Produced by Jack DeSalvo
Unseen Rain UR-9953
- Unseen Rain Records
- The very hip, adventurous label of explosive jazz guitarist Jack DeSalvo
- CD Baby
CD: ERIKA DAGNINO QUARTET, "SIGNS" (Slam Productions, UK)
-Erika Dagnino poetry, voice
-Ras Moshe flute, soprano sax, tenor sax
-Ken Filiano doublebass, effects
-John Pietaro vibraphone, glockenspiel, snare drum, tom-tom, various bells, suspended cymbals, triangle, wind chimes, shaker
"SIGNS" the bilingual poetry music work of the Erika Dagnino Quartet: the very talented Italian poet Dagnino together with three American New York City based amazing musicians Ras Moshe, Ken Filiano and John Pietaro.
Signs was recorded on 19th November 2012 at 17 Frost Theatre of the Arts in Brooklyn, and as the critic and journalist Marco Buttafuoco says in the liner notes: We may apply to this recording (which took place in New York and is soaked in New York) the words that Langston Hughes wrote in 1956: "Jazz seeps into words—spelled out words!".
Composers: Erika Dagnino , Ras Moshe , Ken Filiano , John Pietaro
Recorded by Natalie Scarborough, Nov 19, 2012, Brooklyn NY. Editing, mixing and mastering by Stefano Pastor, Campo Ligure, Italy, December 2012
- Downtown Music Gallery
- Slam Productions (UK site)
CD: THE RED MICROPHONE: "THE RED MICROPHONE SPEAKS!" (Dissident Arts label)
The debut disc by "new revolutionary jazz" band THE RED MICROPHONE:
1) Freedom Theme (Rocco John Iacovone)
2) L'Internationale Redux (“L’Internationale” by Pierre Degeyter; adaptation and arrangement by John Pietaro)
3) God to the Hungry Child (music by Janet Barnes to poetry of Langston Hughes; originally published by the Composers Collective of New York, 1932; adaptation and additional music by John Pietaro)
4) The Proof is Overwhelming (free improvisation incorporating John Howard Lawson’s statement protesting the House Un-American Activities Committee, 1947)
5) Song of the United Front (music by Hanns Eisler; adaptation by the Red Microphone; licensing via Breitkopf & Hartel, Weisbaden, Germany)
6) One for Robeson (free improvisation dedicated to Paul Robeson)
7) L'Internationale Reconstruct (“L’Internationale”: lyric by Eugene Pottier, music by Pierre Degeyter. Excerpted prose: “Our Revolutionary Music” and “The Crisis in Music” by Hanns Eisler. Conception and arrangement by John Pietaro; adaptation by the Red Microphone, Nora McCarthy and Natalie Scarborough) –recorded voices of Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Dalton Trumbo (HUAC hearing, 1947), Vladimir Lenin
8) The Times (“And the Times Are Dark and Fearful” by Hanns Eisler; adaptation and arrangement by John Pietaro; licensing via Breitkopf & Hartel, Weisbaden, Germany)
JOHN PIETARO –vibraphone, suspended cymbals, various bells, frame drum (selection 4), shaker (selection 5), glockenspiel (selection 5), wind chimes (selection 5), tom-tom (selections 5, 6, 7), snare drum (selections 5.6.7), triangle (selection 6), drumkit (selection 7 intro), lion’s roar (selection 7), spoken word (selections 6, 7)
RAS MOSHE –tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, bells (selections 4, 6, 7), spoken word (selection 3)
ROCCO JOHN IACOVONE –alto and soprano saxophones, ocarina (selection 4), frog rasp (selection 4)
NICOLAS LETMAN-BURTINOVIC – double bass (except selection 8)
With special guest NORA MC CARTHY –vocal (selection 7)
Recorded on December 16, 2012 at 17 Frost Theatre of the Arts studio, Brooklyn NY; Engineer: Natalie Scarborough.
Mastered by Kramer at NoiseMiami Studio, Miami FL
Cover photograph by Denise Iacovone; disc photograph by John Pietaro
Kramer on THE RED MICROPHONE SPEAKS:
John, this music is MOVING me like nothing else i've mastered in years. reminds me of the days when all i listened to was stuff from the ESP label, BYG, and Karl Berger, my first real teacher and mentor. this music of yours brings all musics TOGETHER. i fucking LOVE it!
PURCHASE 'The Red Microphone Speaks!' AT THESE FINE NYC STORES:
- Downtown Music Gallery
- Downtown Music Gallery has been the home of NYC new music for decades!
- CD Baby
- CD Baby is your doorway to the world of independent music! Please stop by THE RED MICROPHONE's new CD Baby page to purchase the disc or download it in total or choose individual pieces. While you are on the site, look over the other wonderful musicians in the new jazz/free/experimental listings too............
- Revolution Books
- Other Music
- 212-477-8150 15 E. 4TH ST. NY, NY
- Jazz Record Center
- 236 West 26th St, Rm 804, New York NY 10001
(between 7th & 8th Avenues)
-------------------Single (free download): THE RED MICROPHONE, "Brecht Breakdown" single - free download, IFAR Compilation, Dec 2012
IFAR Compilation, Dec 2012, "The Beat Sounds from Way Out", IFAR Label, UK. Go to the link, check out a lot of FREE downloads of hip, experimental music and, hey, Track # 7 is...
"BRECHT BREAKDOWN" by THE RED MICROPHONE. This is the original line-up of the band: John Pietaro, vibes, percussion, spoken word; Ras Moshe, tenor saxophone; Rocco John Iacovone, soprano saxophone; Laurie Towers, electric bass - http://instituteforalienresearchbeatcompilations.bandcamp.com/album/institute-for-alien-research-compilation-the-beat-sounds-from-way-out-volume-four
- IFAR Label (UK)
- IFAR is a British digital music label which releases compilations of experimental music from international artists
-------------------EP (free download): RADIO NOIR: "The Lost Broadcast" EP - digital download: http://www.reverbnation.com/radionoir
Radio NOIR’s "The Lost Broadcast" was recorded live in a marathon session at 17 Frost Theatre of the Arts Theatre (Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY) in October 2011. The final document not only includes blazing audio tracks of the band's unique 'dissident swing' but wholly produced videos as well, inclusive of imagery projected onto 17 Frost's three massive screens positioned around Radio NOIR during the recording process. Note that some of the imagery is comprised of excerpts of the seminal sci-fi/social change film 'Metropolis' by director Fritz Lang. It is not happenstance that Lang's film was directly influenced by his visions of NYC during his initial visit here--- likewise now his work inspires Radio NOIR in their music-activism journey.
This E.P. is Radio NOIR's debut recording and one which offers a vivid account of their convictions. Starting from the bitter social unrest of the 1930s, the quartet produces a music which speaks loudly to today's struggles for social and economic justice. Wrapped in the shadows of Depression-era New York, the four titles bridge Hot Jazz to the noir novel, ethereal sounds to No Wave, the words of revolutionary composer Hanns Eisler to free improvisation and the music of Woody Guthrie to a restless, relentless kind of swing. The members of Radio NOIR are experienced improvisers, with credits in the genres of New Music as well as expansive Jazz and Pop, but always they maintain the still higher goal of the arts as cultural work, a means toward real social change...
1) "Temptation" (Nascio Herb Brown; arr: Radio NOIR) - a deconstruction of this early '30s standard emphasizing its Latin dance rhythms and its passion, but here as a framework for a expansive improv in the montuno centerpiece. The excitement and beauty of the melody and harmony is never lost in this realization, emphasized multiple times in variations by Quincy Saul's clarinet and John Pietaro's xylophone. The latter instrument serves as anchor with perpetual-motion 16th note phrases, accented liberally and with flailing intensity. Added in tracking was Pietaro's frame drums and percussion, adding fire to the mix as the momentum builds.
2) "Langston" (John Pietaro/Quincy Saul) - a 'modernist blues' dedicated to Langston Hughes and his revolutionary intellectual cohorts in the Harlem Renaissance. In this chamber Jazz piece which opens in a rather mellow mood, the quartet blows over changes in a C-minor blues form which is extended by a whole-tone section. Quincy Saul's clarinet and John Pietaro's xylophone establish the contrapuntal melodic lines as Javier Hernandez-Miyares' electric guitar barks commentary from the sideline and Laurie Towers' bold, unshakeable electric bass anchors the group in a manner which actually negates the need for a drummer.
3) "Pastures of Plenty" (Woody Guthrie; arr: Radio NOIR) - The legendary folksinger's piece about the crushing hardship of the migrant refugee farm worker also rang true for the largely Mexican-immigrant orchard workers thirty years later who fought for dignity alongside Cesar Chavez, and their contemporary brethren toiling right now. Here, the band members never lose sight of that radical impulse as they explore the song's innate loneliness with Quincy Saul's mournful clarinet in the lead, the Minimalist-inspired xylophone of John Pietaro and a soundscape created by Javier Hernandez-Miyares' guitar and Laurie Towers' bass –a tapestry seemingly grown from the very earth spoken of in Guthrie's original lyric.
4) "Hanns Eisler Speaks: Fantasia in G-Men" (prose by Eisler; improvised music, realization by Radio NOIR) - This is a free improvisation built around a statement of revolutionary composer Hanns Eisler, Brecht's most radical collaborator and one of the Germany's greatest 20th century composers. Eisler, tireless cultural warrior in the fight against the Nazis, had relocated to the US in the latter 1930s when targeted by Hitler. After serving as a professor at the New School for Social Research, a film composer in Hollywood and a globally renowned lecturer, he became subjected to the humiliation of the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947 due to his work with the German Communist Party a decade prior, but primarily due to his brother Gerhardt Eisler's WW2-era leadership role. During the Second World War, the US and Soviet Union were allies, but Eisler's anti-Nazi compositions became the subject of a debated series of hearings which demonstrated the shallowness of HUAC when it declared Eisler, "the Karl Marx of Communism in music"; true to form, Eisler shot back to HUAC chair J. Parnell Thomas: "I should be so honored". Eisler wrote a powerful protest statement which he attempted to read to the House interrogators, but was not allowed to enter it into the record. Dismayed, Eisler gave the piece, ultimately entitled "Fantasia in G-Men", to the press corps in an effort to rebuke the accusations of conspiracy. Though published in the Left press, he'd become blacklisted by mainstream media so few got to read Eisler's side of the argument. He was deported to East Germany soon after. In this telling of Eisler's tale, John Pietaro steps away from the xylophone and serves as narrator, channeling Eisler--or at least the spirit of angry rebellion in the face of oppression--for the occasion. He also adds in rhythmic bursts on a large frame drum, a bodhran of bass drum dimensions, but the majority of the music is provided by Laurie Towers' bass, which opens the piece in grand No Wave improv fashion, Javier Hernandez-Miyares wailing electric guitar, and a Quincy Saul clarinet melodic flight which somehow encompasses the urgency of 1930s Europe and Cold War USA----while still speaking to the police crackdowns at Occupy Wall Street protests happening just a few miles from the site of our recording session and in the world about us.
"The Lost Broadcast" was produced by Javier Hernandez-Miyares and engineered by Natalie Scarborough. The recording occurred on October 16, 2011 at 17 Frost Theatre of the Arts, Brooklyn NY www.17frost.com
John Pietaro: xylophone, frame drums, percussion, spoken word
Quincy Saul: clarinet
Laurie Towers: electric bass
Javier Hernandez-Miyares: electric guitar and effects
- Radio NOIR on Reverbnation
- Drop in at the band's ReverbNation site to download our 4-song EP as well as some live feeds.
- THE RED MICROPHONE on Reverbnation
----CD: THE FLAMES OF DISCONTENT: "Revenge of the Atom Spies" - CD
The Flames of Discontent is the protest song ensemble led by John Pietaro and Laurie Towers, primarily from 2004 through 2010. This band featured John not in the percussionist role but as front man: singing and playing electric and acoustic banjo. The Flames performed their expansive kind of topical music widely in NY's Hudson Valley area, where John and Laurie resided for several years in that period, but also played at labor functions such as the Orlando FLA convention of the RWDSU and May Day events and the IWW centenary in NYC. This is one of two albums they recorded under the name of the Flames of Discontent:
Released March 2007, the second CD by the Flames of Discontent, 'Revenge of the Atom Spies' was heard on the airwaves of WBAI-FM (NYC), WDST-FM (Woodstock NY) WKZE-FM (Red Hook NY), WVKR-FM (Poughkeepsie NY)and WJFF-FM (Catskill Mountain area) as well as KDHX-FM (St. Louis, MO), WSUR-FM (Eau Claire, WI), KAOS (Olympia, WA) and KIAK-FM (Fairbanks AL). Two of its selections were chosen to be a part of Neil Young's website 'LIVING WITH WAR TODAY...
"Revenge of the Atom Spies" was recorded in the cold reality of upstate New York in January, 2007. Even with the peripheral knowledge of a new Congress in place, our immediate view was confronted by an endless illegal war waged by an illegitimate president. The promise of the New Year--one without a right-wing stranglehold of Washington--continues, yet both the butcher's bill and the deficit continue to swell. Civil liberties, labor laws, women's rights, environmental protections, and immigrants' rights have been strip-mined. Suspicion of other continues, even as our loyalty is questioned. Today we live in a frightening reflection of the infamous Red Scare periods in US history: the first one was in 1919 in response to waves of labor revolts and European communist revolutions, the second was in the 1930s as the right fought against the social reforms of the Roosevelt Administration, and the third, which began in 1947 and boiled over in the 50s, only seemed to fade by the late 1970s. That last red scare was accompanied by the McCarthy witch-hunt and was designed by the corporate and military powers that had been waiting in the wings since the right-wing lost power in 1932. Their long-term plan to fully dismantle the New Deal continues to this day. But where there once was duck-and-cover we now have duct tape and Anne Coulter ; the reign of western empire has now morphed into cowboy capitalism. Nothing's changed but "who" and "when". Plant the fear and start again....
1) Stung Right (Joe Hill)
2) Sixteen Tons (Merle Travis)
3) September's Divide(Pietaro/Towers)
4) I Cannot and Will Not Cut My Conscience To Fit This Year's Fashions: Lillian Hellman's Letter to HUAC
5) Contrasts (Pietaro/Towers)
6) Revenge of the Atom Spies (Pietaro/Towers)
7) Who's To Blame? (Pietaro/Towers/Figueroa)
8) Ballad of the Big Wind (Pietaro/Towers)
9) Walls (Figueroa/Towers
10) Joe Hill (Alfred Hayes/Earl Robinson)
11) Song of the Translucent Liberal (Pietaro/Towers)
12) You Are the UnAmericans and You Should Be Ashamed of Yourselves: Paul Robeson Stands Up To HUAC
13) Injustice (Pietaro/Towers)
14) Viva La Quince Brigade (Bart Van Der Schelling; based on a traditional tune)
JOHN PIETARO: vocals, electric 5-string banjo, acoustic 5-string banjo, spoken word, xylophone, drumkit, acoustic guitar
LAURIE TOWERS: lead electric bass guitar (fretted, fretless), background vocals, spoken word
-with- RAFAEL FIGUEROA: congas, bongos, snare drum/cymbals, vocals, small percussion
-and- LARRY TOWERS: electric guitar (track 9 only)
PRODUCED BY JOHN PIETARO
ENGINEERED BY LARRY TOWERS
LINER NOTES BY PAUL BUHLE
COVER PHOTOGRAPHY BY DONNA BLISS
INNER BOOKLET PHOTOGRAPHY BY ECONOSMITH
"John Pietaro, Laurie Towers and company have recreated the mood of the 1950s Witchhunt...and just in time for the latest waves of intended repression. While a large swath of liberal opinion, a half century or so ago, joined the Cold War crusade, eager to grab a share of the swag that would be handed out to cooperative intellectuals and artists, a larger number of dedicated artistic activists held to their positions and took the blows, determined not to give the McCarthyites the satisfaction of wiping out dissent entirely. Pietaro and Towers recall the fight-back that looked ahead to the revival of social movements during the 1960s. Likewise now, with musical verve and lively lyrics, the Flames of Discontent call us to the colors of the future...in the hopes that they will be Red"
- Paul Buhle, historian/author, January 2007
"Riffs sharp enough to cut the US deficit" - Whisperin and Hollerin (UK indie music website) 2007
"Lou Reed meets Elvis Presley in black-and-white Cold War melodrama" - CD Reviews.com 2007
- CD Baby
- CD Baby is the indie musicians' best resource for not only the selling of CDs, but their promotion as well. This company carries both of our discs and are also responsible for the hosting of this very site, via their Hostbaby branch.
- Labor Heritage Foundation
- Labor Heritage is an all-around labor and social justice supermaket! Everything from protest music CDs to films of social change, books, and more. A very important organization.
- CD Baby
- CD Baby
----CD: JOHN PIETARO & THE FLAMES OF DISCONTENT: I Dreamed I Heard Joe Hill Last Night...A Century of IWW Song - CD
2005 CD commemorating the centenary of the Industrial Workers of the World. Conceived by John Pietaro and noted historian and writer Paul Buhle ('Wobbles! A Graphic History', 'Radical Hollywood', dozens more) and co-produced by guitarist Cliff Murphy, this album combines lesser-known Wobbly songs with more common-place ones and several spoken word selections in order to offer a commentary on IWW history concurrently with a profile on Labor's struggle at the present time. Credited to "John Pietaro and the Flames of Discontent", this disc features a large studio band featuring John Pietaro's voice, banjo, nylon string guitar and piano and Laurie Towers' electric bass.
The group was gathered in a Providence, Rhode Island studio over one harried winter weekend to create this album deemed, "kick-ass music for the masses...a noble and timely work", by Chronogram magazine. The line-up includes the fiddles of Emily Miller and James Ruchala, the trombone of Jim Costanza, the baritone saxophone of Emily Nemens, the electric and acoustic guitars of Cliff Murphy, the drumset of Tim Nylander and the spoken word selections of Sarah Goldstein, Sarah Bowman and Steven Levenson.
Selections have been aired on Oscar Brand's noted radio program on WNYC (NY,NY) as well as on WBAI-FM (NY,NY), WVKR-FM (Poughkeepsie, NY), WDST-FM (Woodstock, NY) , WSUR-FM (Eau Claire, WI), KAOS (Olympia WA), KDHX-FM (St. Louis, MO), and others including London's 'Radio Labourstart' internet broadcasts. The CD was officially released in New York City at 'The 100th Anniversary of the Wobblies: A NYC IWW Centenary', CUNY Graduate Center, NYC, September, 2005. It was also a part of Buhle's "Traveling Wobbly Show", which toured the USA and many other parts of the globe. "I Dreamed I Heard Joe Hill Last Night" is available via the IWW, where we encourage you to purchase it from as all of the proceeds stay with the Wobblies -- http://store.iww.org/i-dreamed-i-heard-joe-hill-last-night.html -- or at the following stores: Revolution Books (New York City), Half Moon Books (Kingston, NY), and Vox Pop (Brooklyn, NY), The Howland Cultural Center (Beacon, NY). The production/engineering team of Jon Nolan, Altay Guvench, Damon Baker and Cliff Murphy helped to create this collection. And the cover and interior art by Leslie Friedman completes the package, one that honors the IWW's radical songs and mission.
- Labor Heritage Foundation
- Industrial Workers of the World - www.iww.org
- I encourage anyone purchasing a copy of this to do so via the IWW, the organization who's centenary we celebrated with this disc!
- Industrial Workers of the World
- CD Baby